WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CATHOLIC?

An Introduction to the Catholic Faith

This set of ten instruction booklets is for those who want to look more closely at what it means to be Catholic. An inspirational introduction to Catholic beliefs with prayers, bible passages and thoughtful questions.

The most important step in any journey is the very first one. 

The first step points you in a particular direction, places you on the path, and often sets the pace for the steps that will follow. The Journey of Faith is no different.  In the Bible, one of the most common phrases from Jesus to His disciples is; 

“Do not be afraid.” 

You are Welcome at Mass

We’re so pleased that you’re thinking about visiting us at St Peter Chanel Parish. Whether you’re new to the area and looking for a church to call home or exploring the Christian faith, we’d love to meet you.

You are loved by God and there is nothing you can do to change that.

To see just how much He loves you, we invite you to Sunday Mass…

What to Expect at Sunday Mass...

You are important to God. He loves you, and there is nothing you can do about it. His love for you is complete and total, all-encompassing and never-failing. The proof of His love is all around you, but is summed up completely in His Son, Jesus Christ.

We know that visiting a church for the first time can be daunting, so here is everything you need to know to make your visit as easy as possible.

WELCOME to Mass

If this is your very first time to a Catholic Mass, you are welcome to simply sit and watch, or do as the Romans are doing. Sit when we sit, kneel when we kneel, stand when we stand.

We follow the same structure every Sunday in every Catholic Mass all over the world.  All the words to the prayers and songs are on the screens so you can pray and sing along if you would like to but there is no pressure to join in.

Catholic Symbols
Gestures and Vessels

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and The Holy Spirit

Sign of the Cross

You'll see Catholics dip their fingers in holy water and touch their foreheads with it. Then they'll bring their hand down to their chest and then across to their left shoulder and then to their right. The movement is a prayer called the "Sign of the Cross". When we make the Sign of the Cross we pray to bring down Christ's blessings in the name of the Father (head), Son (chest) and the Holy Spirit (left and right shoulders). It also reminds us of our Baptism (Matt 28:29).

Holy Water

The holy water might be in little bowls on either side of the door. Or it might be in big bowls or fonts in front of the door. The water is Holy Water which has been sanctified by the priest for the purpose of bringing down Christ's blessings upon all who touch it. People will make their way to the water after entering a Catholic Church.

Reverence

Reverence, Then, you may notice that people stop talking once they enter the Church. In a Catholic Church, we maintain reverence for the true presence of God.

Genuflection

"Every knee will bend"

Genuflection

Catholics will kneel on one knee and stand back up when entering their pew. That is called a "genuflection”. It is our showing that we humble ourselves before the Lord. Remember the Scripture, "every knee will bend". That's what we do.

Liturgy of the WORD

We listen to three Readings from the Bible, and then hear a homily which is a reflection on the Readings. You can get the Readings of the day, and the prayers of the Mass online or from the app Laudate.

Each Mass we have an offering where a basket is passed round for those who would like to give to the work of the Church. No one is under any obligation to give and you are welcome to let the basket pass by. To find out more, please visit our giving page.

Liturgy of the EUCHARIST

As Catholics we receive Holy Communion as part of our Mass.

If you are not Catholic you have several choices.

Kneel and pray for God to show you the truth about His presence in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church

Join the line and walk to the front, cross your arms in front of your chest and receive a blessing.

You are welcome to attend RCIA in order to begin the journey to true understanding of the true presence, after this process you may decide to join the Catholic Church.

After Mass...

A Catholic Mass is both a personal and community prayer, it is structured and it is unfortunate that from time to time visitors can sometimes go unnoticed. It is important to us that you know you are welcome and our Sunday Mass is inclusive to everyone.

Please stay around after Mass and introduce yourself to a parishioner. After some Masses we serve tea and coffee so you are welcome to stay around for a chat.  If you have any problems or questions, please ask we will try our best to assist you.  

If you would like to talk to someone or would like some prayer ask our priest and he will introduce you to someone who can help.

 

Were you raised Catholic but never, or seldom, come to church anymore?
Are you a Catholic who now feels separated from the Church?
Would you like to know more about the Catholic Church as it is today?
Would you like to feel at home in the Catholic Church again?

No matter how long you have been away and no matter the reason, we would like to welcome you back.